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OPINION: Business model foisted upon schools turns teaching into data processing

OPINION: Business model foisted upon schools turns teaching into data processing

“Planning for Improvement” took up the bulk of the school’s resources, staff meetings and in-school professional development time. After this process was completed, high schools could move on to the next school improvement scheme: “Continuous School Improvement,” furthering the need for schools to gather and analyze student data on individual school goals. Teachers have become caught up in this never-ending conveyor belt of "progress" in a system that understands growth only through numbers. 
OPINION: If McNeil has his way, forced labour will rule the day

OPINION: If McNeil has his way, forced labour will rule the day

Nearly one in 10 Nova Scotians stands to see his or her freedom permanently and irrevocably eroded if Bill 75 passes into law. Every single public-sector worker faces a future where any current or future government (over the next eight to 12 years — the timetable for a Supreme Court of Canada charter challenge) can tell them what they can earn, what they will do and how long the terms of forced labour will last.
GRANT FROST: Bulldozer McNeil drives collective bargaining into the ditch

GRANT FROST: Bulldozer McNeil drives collective bargaining into the ditch

The Liberal government had a week to rearrange bus schedules and hire lunch monitors. Instead, they decided to lock out students and to legislate a contract. This government had no intention of ever dealing fairly with teachers. They have no interest in collective bargaining. They do not want to talk. Instead, they want to impose their will on the people of Nova Scotia.
TEACHER'S LETTER: We have so much work that we can't work to rule

TEACHER'S LETTER: We have so much work that we can't work to rule

In the staff room last week, I heard teachers who were concerned and worried; they had no idea how they could possibly work to rule. Many expressed that they would just have to work from home if they were not allowed to be in school earlier than 20 minutes before class.
A slap in the face to teachers who go the extra mile

A slap in the face to teachers who go the extra mile

Teachers and administration at Bicentennial School in Dartmouth have worked tirelessly for decades to engage a disenfranchised community to build trust and two-way communication for the benefit of children who might otherwise be written off.  Isn't it time that government, their employer, fully acknowledge and give credit to these front-line workers who are doing their damnedest to help kids succeed when just about every social obstacle is in place to prevent that? 
OPEN LETTER: School system hangs by a thread -- the devotion of teachers

OPEN LETTER: School system hangs by a thread -- the devotion of teachers

I have to confess that I was shocked to learn that the government has felt comfortable leaving the safety of our children up to the kindness of teachers and principals. In all these years, it never once occurred to me that when the teachers and principals arrived earlier than 20 minutes before class that they were not being paid for their time.
OPINION: Scorning solid research -- Monsef's 'fuzzy math' moment on electoral reform

OPINION: Scorning solid research -- Monsef's 'fuzzy math' moment on electoral reform

What exactly is the Gallagher Index? It doesn't matter, because most of us aren't smart enough to understand it, even though nobody was proposing we should — en masse — understand it. The committee members were asking the minister to understand it, and to use it to propose a better electoral system.
COMMENTARY: Imagine the AIDS crisis without the rudder of responsible journalism

COMMENTARY: Imagine the AIDS crisis without the rudder of responsible journalism

Journalism is now so endangered that we just could be approaching "A Day Without Responsible Journalism." For evidence, consider the venerable Oxford Dictionary's 2016's Word of the Year: post-truth, defined as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief." Sounds just like what was happening in the early years of the AIDS crisis.
OPINION: 'I am a teacher and I am furious'

OPINION: 'I am a teacher and I am furious'

I am furious that Education Minister Karen Casey has made my job more difficult and the majority of my students less engaged. She has removed the attendance policy and absenteeism is up by 30 per cent at my school. She has decreed that behaviour must be looked at in isolation — and now behaviour severely disruptive to the learning environment is up.
COMMENTARY: From Cyber Monday to cyber megashifts -- a dozen tech trends rewiring our world

COMMENTARY: From Cyber Monday to cyber megashifts -- a dozen tech trends rewiring our world

Everything that used to be dumb is now becoming connected and intelligent, such as gas pipelines, farms, cars, shipping containers, traffic lights, etc. This connectivity allows for intelligence to be derived from the aggregate output of hundreds of millions of sensors and devices — once artificial intelligence learns from this flood of data, we will have a vastly different way of reading, seeing and directing the world.